4036 N. Sheridan Road,
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Architects: John Edmund Oldaker Pridmore
Previous Names: Fox Sheridan Theatre, Teatro El Palacio
The Sheridan Theatre opened by the Ascher Brothers on February 12, 1927 with a stage presentation of Florenz Ziegfeld’s “Sally” and on the screen Billie Dove in “Sensation Seekers”. It was designed by Chicago-based architect J.E.O. Pridmore, who later designed the Nortown Theatre (1931), in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.
The Sheridan Theatre had 3,000 seats in its balconied auditorium, which featured, like San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, a mock-tented ceiling, ringed by a Roman-style frieze depicting a procession of gods. The Sheridan Theatre also had a small stage, an orchestra pit and a Wurlitzer 4 manual17 ranks organ, opened by organist Edmund Fitch. Unlike Pridmore’s other theatres, which were mostly Atmospheric in style, the Sheridan Theatre was a Neo-Classical/Italian Baroque combination, complete with Corinthian columns, Roman statuary, and a proscenium arch topped by golden lions supporting a crowned shield. By 1929 it had been taken over by Fox Theatres and renamed Fox Sheridan Theatre. In early-1934 it was taken over by Essaness Theatres Corp.
After the Sheridan Theatre was closed in 1951, it was acquired by a synagogue which used the former theatre for their house of worship for fifteen years, until moving to another home. In the early-1970’s, the Sheridan Theatre was reopened again for movies, this time Spanish-language, and renamed the Teatro El Palacio. It lasted into the early-1990’s, when the theatre again closed and became home for the homeless & vagrants. Various plans for a reuse included as a library, conversion into apartments and a performance arts center, all of which came to nothing. Estimates were given that it would cost around $350,000 to demolish and that was what eventually happened.
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